The Guyana Revenue Authority is calling on the public to report squib smuggling and sales to its intelligence hotline.
In a statement yesterday, the GRA said that persons who have information on the purchase and sale of restricted items can call GRA’s Intelligence hotline on telephone number 226-2060 to provide information.
It reminded the public that squibs and firecrackers are illegal and can be fatal.
The Hindu festival of Deepavali being celebrated today and the Christmas season are rife with smuggling of firecrackers, illicit sales and use. Many communities are besieged by firecrackers from this point to the end of the year.
The GRA said it will be increasing its presence countrywide and targeting this problem.
It added that the Enforcement arm of the GRA has an ongoing exercise monitoring activities at ports and borders countrywide, and persons found smuggling goods into the country, will be prosecuted under Section 217 and 218 of the Customs Act, Chapter 82:01
GRA Commissioner-General Khurshid Sattaur said citizens have a role to play in preventing smuggling and also the sale and purchase of firecrackers and other explosives which are illegal under the Second Schedule Parts 1 and 2 of the Customs Act amended by Act No. 1 of 2005.
The GRA said that the Guyana Defence Force is the only agency authorized to import firecrackers and other explosives and permission must be sought from the Commissioner of Police for the importation of such items.
The applicable penalty is payment of treble the value of the goods or a fine of ten thousand dollars ($10, 000) or imprisonment of one to three years. The GRA said that this penalty is also applicable to persons found selling and/or purchasing firecrackers.